by Karen DeArmond-Gardner

Paul opened the majority of his letters with the words…”Paul, chosen by the will of God to be”.

The words made no impact on me as I read them, until one day, God’s spotlight fell on the words “chosen by the will of God to be”. I read the words as “chosen, by the willofGod, to be.” As I scread (scanning and reading at the same time) the verse, I realized I was only reading words on a page, without grasping the meaning behind them, thinking Paul was referring to the will of God. That is, until the living breathing Word of God caused the words to jump off the page and I saw something I had never seen before.

I have sought God’s will as if it were a mystery that needed to be solved. By following the clues, I thought I would discover the answer. In the process I looked ahead to ‘someday’, becoming stagnant, like a jar without a spout, taking in but not giving out. My thinking was faulty; my focus was off. But with eight simple words, my paradigm shifted.

Chosen. By the Will of God to be………

Acts 9 tells the story of how God made a show of choosing Paul while he was Saul the terrorist, by hitting him with a spotlight from heaven, knocking him off his horse, then shouting at him to get his attention; no whisper here. With every letter Paul wrote, he identified himself by who God chose him to be – an Apostle of Jesus. It was not vanity or pride speaking, but rather, it revealed was who he was. It was his identity.

It was God’s desire and pleasure, by an act of His will, to CHOOSE Paul by divine favor to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus.

I assumed Paul was just a tad arrogant. “I’m an Apostle” said with boasting and pride. Now I get it: he identified himself as God chose him to be. Wow!

As I pondered this “new” revelation, I began to wonder, what did God, by an act of His will, choose by divine favor for me to be?

Ephesians 1:1-8 is a beautiful picture of how God the Father, even before He spoke creation into being, loved me, chose me and decided to adopt me as His own – all because it brought Him pleasure. It made Him smile.

God has poured out His grace on us. The word grace in the Greek is charis, which means showing kindness with gifts and benefits as part of the relationship. He gave us gifts to build and equip the Body of Christ.

Back to the question, “God, what have You, by an act of Your will chosen me to be?” His. How simple and uncomplicated. Because I am His, He gave me gifts to be received, opened and used.

Karen, chosen by the will of God to be…

 an encourager of women
 a teacher of women
 to pastor women
 to speak over women

I do like the sound of that. This is not boasting, it is who He purchased me to be, which will bring Him praise and glory (Ephesians 1:14 NLT).

Now that is revelation.

In 2003 God gave me a vision of myself speaking to thousands of women. This vision seems impossible and out of reach. I pull it out now and again – imagine myself standing on stage scanning the room full of women waiting for me to speak. I have no clue how or if the vision will become reality; it is in God’s hands. For today, I am to live out my life using the gifts He bestowed on me, not for my fame, but to bring Him Glory.

“For I am His masterpiece. He created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things He planned for me long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Do you know what your Spiritual gifts are? No. It’s time to discover your “to be”. We have provided a link below to a Spiritual Gifts assessment (not a test). After you complete the assessment, we would love to know who it is He has called you “to be”. So,if you would, fill in your name and share what God’s says your “to be” is by pasting it in the comments section of this post. God is not done with you yet, He wants to finish what He began in you.

____________ chosen by the will of God to be __________________



Karen DeArmond: I found myself in my early 50′s shattered, divorced and without a job – moving to a new state to begin over again. There were times I thought the “start would stop me.” I had no clue what my purpose was and quite frankly thought I had messed up so bad that even God couldn’t put my life back together again. Within the last 6 years I started a new career, enjoyed being single, became a grandmother, reconnected with my family and at 57 I married the most amazing man ever. Because God never does anything small, He asks me to step out of my box and begin writing. Only God….if He did this for me, He will do it for you. Join us on the journey to discover Your Purpose Now.


  1. 9-26-2011

    Well, I was surprised by the results of my spiritual gifts assessment. Here is what I discovered: Deb, chosen by the will of God to be an exhorter. I wasn’t sure that sounded like me. So I examined the definition: “One who admonishes, encourages and beseeches. You are a ‘how to’ person. You have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating others to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct.” Yep. That is right on. My work as a trainer and executive coach for the past 25 years has been to help grow and develop leaders. This website was born of the concept that 50 is a big bump in the road, and we all may need some assistance to get up, get going and live large in Jesus till He comes or we go!

    Its exciting to know I am walking in the steps He chose for me to walk. Reading through the rest of the details of the results was both encouraging and affirming. If you have not taken the time to complete an assessment of your God-given gifts, I encourage you to do it now. And please, share your results and thoughts about what you learn.

  2. 9-26-2011

    Question? Do you think the Ephesians passage speaks of gifts or of being? As I see it ….’vs 4, He chose us…to be holy and blameless in his sight, predestined to be adopted as sons and daughters…; vs 12 be to the praise of His glory’. We are first called to ‘be’ with much in between, and then ‘do’ as He gives some to be apostles, prophets, teachers….am I not seeing what you saw?

    • 9-26-2011

      The first chapter does focus on our ‘position in Christ’. Loved, chosen, adopted, holy and blameless. So utterly amazing isn’t it?

      Paul identified himself by who God called him to be in the first verse of the books he wrote.

      We are both right – we need to know who we are so we can do what He has called us to. Well said Carol! Love your insight.

      Too many of us know our position in Christ but not our gifts, some know their gifts but not who they are in Christ.

  3. 9-26-2011

    Great article Karen…Proud of you!!
    I took the Sp. Gifts analysis….This could explain why I always have something to say and am opinionated—My gifts: Evangelism, Prophecy and Pastor/Shepherd.
    So amazing to see how God has opened doors of opportunity in those areas.

    • 9-27-2011

      So you Kathie and how exciting as you have been living out your gifts.

  4. 9-27-2011

    Yvonne Chosen by the will of God to be Exhorter. So first I had to have a definition of exhorter which seems to be a characteristic of exhorters. I do see myself but never really considered that this is a gift. I’m happy to be in the good company of my long-time mentor Deb!

    God has also chosen Yvonne to be a Teacher. This excites me because it is something I enjoy and can see myself contributing to my congregation.

    I’m excited that MPN brought this evaluation into my life as I’m embarking on my own mission to walk in my faith. I will share this with my small group to see if others wish to find their path.

    • 9-27-2011

      Yvonne! Exhorter and Teacher – I love it and I’m not surprised. It was a long time ago and we didn’t spend near enough time together, but I could see it even then. So glad to reconnect after all these years.

    • 9-28-2011

      Yvonne I can hear the excitement in your comment. It does my heart good when I see women become who God has called them to be. Please keep us up to date on what God is doing in you.

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